2 Tim 1.8a
This is correspondence from Evangelist Peter Ventura to a prisoner named George.
It was such a blessing to read personally, so I asked if i could share it for my readers.
Here it is reprinted with said permission.
Dear Brother George,
Received your letter of 12/6/2020. Thank you for bringing me up to buttons to accept the call, and sometimes it will not when date with respect to your situation there, and outlook toward the future which is certainly in the Lord’s hands. Amen.
You have no need to apologize to me for your lack of communication, I do understand that you can get busy, even behind those concrete and steel walls. However, you should know that when you call, if I do not accept the call the first time, it is because I am trying to get off another line, or, am driving and have need to pull the vehicle off the road to respond. Sometimes the IPhone will allow me to push the corresponding driving. Thus, always call twice. It is never in my heart not to accept a call from you, my Brother in Christ Jesus.
In your letter you said you are down to your last 16 months. That at times you have become anxious thinking about being released and thinking about what it will be like re-entering society as a whole. You mentioned being patient because it is not the right time to dwell on these things. Mentioned a future modification, “but in any case it’s coming to an end one way or the other”.
There are some things that I desire to say to you, and, that you need to take to heart. Jesus said, “And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me” (Mt. 11:6). Brother George, I have notices by observation, letter, and conversation with you that, ever since the incident wherein you had some discord with the Choir, you have seemingly drifted somewhat from the Lord, insomuch that in your last letter, while there is great mention of “you” “your family” “thoughts of release” and “modification”, there is a lack of spiritual content. But where is the Lord in that, my Brother in Christ. I say that, it appears you have drifted and have begun to focus on something other then the Lord. You see, your focus must not be on what you are going to do when released, but what God is going to do with you when released! What is the vision God has given you? Have you sought God’s vision for you? When God gives a man a vision, it is not what the man is going to do, but what God is going to do! May I remind you, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 Jn. 2:15-17). Amen.
Being released is awesome. Being released and living for Jesus Christ is better! Let me be blunt with you right here and now, and let me dispel any delusions you have of gradeur!!! “For other foundation can no man lay that that is laid, which is Christ Jesus” (1 Cor. 3:11). You think there were challenges and temptations in prison, my Brother, you ain’t begun to fight the good fight! Your prison time was Moses and Paul’s desert time – a time of strengthening for the fight that is to come. There will not be one person, friend or enemy who remained the same after all these years. There will be few places that remained the same after all these years. The technologies of today will be awesome, frustrating, and at times bring you to tears. People around you will not understand you, because they have not been where you are.
Your criminal record will interfere with your life, change how people you meet and know treat you. At times, you will be feel alone in the world, like Noah felt when he got off the Ark, and everything Noah knew had changed!
Going into society is like being spit out of the womb – it’s all new, and yet some of it old. You had better be prayed up and filled with the Holy Spirit of God. You better be able to call out to Jesus Christ and to hear that “small voice” say: “…What doest thou here, Elijah” (1 Kings 19:13). What does here George? You need to realize you will need to be on point all the time: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” (1 Pet. 5:8). And herein is Peter’s advice and admonishment: “Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world” (1 Pet. 5:9). You better have the whole armour of God on every day and every night, and every minute, and every second. There will be people at the Half Way House who do not know the Lord and who are doing what is wrong, while you are right there trying to do right. It is not about right and wrong, but “good” and “evil”: “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Heb. 5:14).
Prison is a daily routine! Out here in society the love of man has waxed cold just as the Lord said it would in Matthew’s Gospel: “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Mt. 24:12). People are angry and oppressed in society today. You will be hard pressed to see many people with a smile on their face! We are in the “End Times” the “Latter Days” are dawning upon us as spoken in Daniel 12:4 – “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” (Emphasis mine) (Dan. 12:4). People are rushing up and down highways and in and out of homes, and stores, and zooming here and zooming there. This is not the world as you knew it before prison! If you fall in the street you will most likely lay there, because people will walk right by you. “Knowledge shall be increased” – yes, the internet with knowledge at the touch of finger! Half is not true and correct! The world at a person’s fingertip! Cars that stay between the driving lines by themselves, and regulate their speed in traffic. You can tell SIRI the AI to take a message and send that message while you are driving. SIRI will answer your questions from how to spell a word to what is the best restaurant near you!
Are you wise in the Biblical Sense? “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (Dan. 12:3). The world will swallow you up, spit you out, and few will even care! The world is selfish and the spirit of the day is “rebellion” and “Self”. The I-Phone is so popular because it is an I-phone = mine phone! People use to take pictures of “things”, now they take “selfies” = self!
As for Christianity in America and the World, well there is a serious decline, a falling away: “NOW we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, not by word, not by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (2 Thess. 2:1-3). Well, here we are Brother, a great falling away is taking place in the Christian “Churches” and the world in general!
Christians are marginalized as cooks, extremist, cultist, and nonessential, haters! Yet we love all people! Churches are apostate and closing doors by the droves all across the country. I know, I have been across this great country 42 or so times in the last 9 years! Recently made 4 trips to NC. There are empty Churches with For Sale signs all through the South! The Bible Belt has become a place of steal bread! As one person from Virginia said, “People in Virginia go to Church, because that is what people in Virginia do. I am moving to Kentucky”! Churches I have visited all around the country are and indifferent, and many are clickish! Most Churches do not even have the same Jesus Christ you and I have! And the sad thing is that they are like parable of the Lost Penny – that penny didn’t even know it was lost!!!
What God wants right now in the now and nasty 2020 – 2021 is Christian “men”, Soldiers who can endure hardness for the Lord: “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Tim. 2:3), and know, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him that hath chosen him to be a good soldier” (2 Tim. 4).
We all must answer Moses question: “Who is on the Lord’s side?”!
In America God has no rights – people fight for civil right, gay rights, abortion, BLM, Constitutional rights, animal rights, but God has no rights? God is asking every Christian man and women, boy and girl, “Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?” (Ps. 94:16). Hey, Brother George, will you? Will you rise up for Jesus Christ, or are looking to fit into society and get all you can, can all you get, and sit on the can? That can happen when a Christian loses focus on Jesus Christ and the purpose of the Christian life which is to produce fruit unto the Lord Jesus Christ!
Here is another tip! Do not ever think that you will get back 20 some odd years of your life in a flash! If you do, I will be writing to you again in prison! Everyday must be submitted to the Lord first by praise and prayer, and the day must end in praise and prayer! Some Christians are no smarter than dogs! Dogs just eat what their master puts in front of them, and they never thank the master before they eat their meal! How thankful are you?
Brother, “Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people. For the LORD is great, he is to be feared above all gods” (Ps. 96:3-4). Remember the admonishment of King Solomon in Proverbs 1:24-33! Stay the course me Brother. Focus on the Lord because He has brought you this far, and nothing of your own got you to today!
Beloved Brother George, take heed to my admonishments herein. Do I tell you these things because I do not love you? NO, to the contrary, it is because the Love of Christ which constraineth me that I tell you these things! Brother, you need to be focused for the onslaught that is about to war against you!
In closing, nevertheless, I will be here for you as long as the Lord allows me to be here for you. If you do what is right in the eyes of the Lord, I will stand with you in the power of the Holy Spirt and the Might of Almighty God as He alone has endowed me with power from on High as a Pastor and Brother in Christ Jesus. The Lord bless you.
IN JESUS CHRIST
2 Tim. 2:15